Men with Guns
Time Out saysSayles' film echoes The Secret of Roan Inish in its fascination with storytelling, and Lone Star as an investigation of conspiracy and cover-up. In an unnamed Latin American country, eminent doctor Humberto Fuentes (José Luppi) decides to spend his vacation visiting students he trained to work in poor Indian villages in the mountains. Ignoring warnings that he's at risk from guerillas, his travels reveal that the medics have vanished. To his bewilderment he learns that the students - like many Indians - were taken away, tortured or killed by 'men with guns'. As his quest continues, he's joined by sundry unfortunates and outcasts who shatter his complacent liberal assumptions about his own position and responsibility. While the premise - that authoritarian states not only oppress their lowliest members but lay the blame elsewhere - is hardly original, Sayles elaborates his theme with rare sensitivity and intelligence. A film of beauty, integrity, power and compassion (in Spanish and Mayan, with English subtitles).